|Việt Nam captain Huỳnh Như (No 9) runs away from Myanmar players during their Group B match of the AFF Cup on July 13. Việt Nam won 4-0. — Photo courtesy of VFF|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam topped Group B and will meet the Philippines in the AFF Women's Cup semi-finals after their 4-0 win over Myanmar on July 13 in Manila.
Việt Nam are the only team to win all four group round matches at the tournament and grab 12 points.
After missing two threatening chances early on, midfielder Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung opened the scoring in the 16th minute.
Young defender Nguyễn Thị Mỹ Anh fluffed the ball into the box. Myanmar goalkeeper Zu Latt Nadi ran out to kick it away and missed. The ball fell to Dung, and her close-range finish found the back of the net.
Dung was faulted in the box area, and Việt Nam was given a penalty in the 35th minute, which Dung duly converted to make it 2-0.
Skipper Huỳnh Như netted the third goal for the defending champions, sending home a free-kick from defender Chương Thị Kiều.
In the second half, Việt Nam did not maintain their domination, with key players Dung and Như rested for the next round.
Although they created many opportunities, they could not score more goals until the 89th minute. Forward Phạm Hải Yến scored in an empty net when goalie Nadi came out to block a solo run by midfielder Nguyễn Thị Trúc Hương but failed to catch the ball, which fell to Yến.
Myanmar, despite strong efforts, could not convert their rare opportunities.
It was Việt Nam's second win over arch-rivals Myanmar within two months. They also beat Myanmar 1-0 in the SEA Games 31 semi-final at the Cẩm Phả Stadium in Quảng Ninh Province, Việt Nam.
|Vietnamese players celebrate their goal in the 4-0 win over Myanmar. — Photo of VFF|
"I cannot believe we could win with such a high result," coach Mai Đức Chung said.
"I thought it would be a difficult game for us. But my players did a good job, and we had suitable tactics. I am really glad with what my team did today.
"Of course, there were some things we need to fix, but I cannot speak here. We will have one day to prepare for the semis and try to do the best."
In another match in Group B on July 13, Cambodia beat Timor Leste 3-1.
In Group A, Thailand beat the Philippines 1-0 win to grab Group A top spot at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on July 12.
At the same time, Australia whipped Malaysia 6-0 at the Imus Stadium in Cavite, and in a dead rubber, Singapore shut out Indonesia 2-0.
Thailand will play Myanmar in the other semi-final on July 15.
"All four semi-final teams are the same in quality. I appreciate the Philippines. The coming match will be hard for Việt Nam. They are a strong team who also qualified for the 2023 World Cup like Việt Nam and are strongly supported by home fans. We will have to work really hard," said Chung. — VNS